Australia expects to receive its first batches of a potential COVID-19 vaccine in January, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday, as the number of new daily infections in the country's virus hotspot fell to a 10-week low.
Morrison said CSL is relied upon to deliver 3.8 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is right now going through late-stage clinical preliminaries in Britain, Brazil and South Africa, in January and February one year from now.
Johnson & Johnson has reported a second successful animal trial of Ad26.COV2.S (adenovirus serotype 26), its single-dose candidate COVID-19 vaccine now under development as part of Operation Warp Speed (OWS).
The vaccine is now undergoing clinical trials.
CSL, which last month bumped up its dividend as it reported a better-than-expected annual profit, was on track for its best daily gain in almost three weeks, against a 0.3% gain on the broader ASX200 index .AXJO .
This decision, it said, is based on recent results from pre-planned interim analyses of the pimodivir Phase III trial in hospitalised patients with influenza A, which that found pimodivir in combination with the standard of care (SOC) "was very unlikely to demonstrate added benefit".
Earlier in August, the US Department of Health and Human Services maintained that it had signed a contract with J&J's pharmaceutical branch to secure 100 million doses of the vaccine worth $1 billion. Here is a good news about the indigenous "Covaxin" developed by Bharat Biotech. If this is successful, CSL will take responsibility for the Phase 2b/3 clinical trial, expected to begin late this year.
Although the results among hamsters seem promising, it does not necessarily mean the vaccine will provide the same level of protection among humans, however, Johnson & Johnson researchers noted their findings are significant as COVID-19 is known to progress into severe disease in some humans.
The government of Australia shall give funding to support the readiness of CSL to manufacture AZD1222.
"We are now deeply engaged with Russian Federation on the vaccine front", a source told the publication.
"Australians will gain free access to a Covid-19 vaccine in 2021 if trials prove successful", Morrison said.